How Does Press Release Marketing Work?

BY Peg McDermott on Jun 13, 2012 / IN marketing strategy

As the name suggests, press releases used to have a much simpler and straightforward function than they do today, that being to release information to the press in a controlled manner. These days, however, with online media taking over, the press release has now become more of a broadcast, with content from press releases flooding online news aggregators daily.


It’s not difficult to imagine where marketing opportunities could enter the picture. Just the fact that aggregation and syndication are so key means that huge amounts of incoming links are waiting to happen. Add to this the proliferation of dedicated online press release newswires, and you have a situation that’s ripe for a marketing explosion.


Of course, it’s not enough just to start putting out press releases left and right. As with any other type of content, quality is very much rewarded over quantity. It’s important to make sure that you only write press releases for things that are worthy of announcement, and choose your topics carefully.


That’s not to say that you can’t have a strong number of press releases going out on a regular basis. If you have enough exciting things going on, then so be it, let the world know. Just make sure that what you’re putting out there is both relevant to your target audience, and is enticing enough to encourage click-throughs.


Keep in mind that whatever you write in your press release is more likely to get shared and blogged if the information in the release is in a form that is easy to read and digest. That doesn’t mean you should write it as if it were a blog post itself, but rather include paragraphs or sentences that can easily be used out of context to get the point across. In other words, write your press release with the expectation that others who share it will copy and paste certain parts of it. Make sure there are some good “textbites” there that translate well on their own.


In terms of ROI, it’s important to keep an eye on how well your press releases are doing, versus the amount of time and effort you’re spending on them. Not all content lends itself well to press release marketing, so if you find that your releases are not performing as well as you’d like, you can either change your strategy, or convert your content to blog posts instead if that seems more appropriate.


You probably already have content they may do well as releases – What have you created that might do well repurposed into a press release?